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A conservative committee that made controversial claims about COVID-19 to reconvene at AZ Capitol

A conservative committee that has made controversial claims about COVID-19 is reconvening at the state Capitol. 

The group has hosted speakers who claimed that the federal government intentionally lied and mishandled COVID-19 and that hospitals intentionally killed people to make a profit.

Will Humble is the director of the Arizona Public Health Association. He criticized the committee's main recurring speaker, a cardiologist named Peter McCullough.

“In one breath he says ‘COVID-19 is a very you know transmissible virus, it's very contagious’ and then five minutes later, he’s saying it’s very difficult to transmit this virus, it’s more like tuberculosis, and no one on the panel is challenging anything,” Humble said.

The committee is led by Sen. Janae Shamp (R-Surprise), a former nurse who says she was fired for refusing to be vaccinated. 

She’s run legislation that would expand the rights of employees to refuse vaccinations.

The next committee meeting is scheduled for Friday, and McCullough is scheduled to reappear.

There are no Democrats on the panel. 

The committee hasn’t made any recommendations yet, but it will send out a report before the end of the year. One of the stated purposes of the Novel Coronavirus Southwestern Intergovernmental Committee is to “prepare possible actions … against entities and individuals where appropriate and confirmed.”

The title of the committee also drew some attention when it first formed. On calendars, the Legislature shortens the name to the acronym NCSWIC, which is also an acronym used by Qanon and stands for Nothing Can Stop What Is Coming.

Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.